The Government and Opposition today voted against a Greens motion in the Senate calling on the Government to plan for peak oil.
Australia needs to kick the oil addiction before peak oil kicks it for us by driving prices sky high.
“We must start planning now to bring on the sustainable alternatives of renewably-powered electric vehicles, both public and private, and tackle the climate and peak oil crises together.
“The International Energy Agency whistleblower’s report is shocking but unsurprising to those of us who have watched the refusal by Australian governments to acknowledge the peak oil threat.”
Notice of motion
I move that the Senate:
a) Notes that:
i. Neither the former Howard government nor the Rudd government implemented the first recommendation of the 2007 Senate Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Committee report into Australia’s future oil supply and alternative transport fuels, namely, that Geoscience Australia, ABARE and Treasury reassess both the official estimates of future oil supply and the ‘early peak’ arguments and report to the Government on the probabilities and risks involved, comparing early mitigation scenarios with business as usual.
ii. Of the nine recommendations of that Report, only recommendation 6 relating to incentives for fuel efficient vehicles have even been considered let alone addressed.
iii. In the week beginning 8 November 2009, the International Energy Agency issued its annual ‘World Energy Outlook’, predicting that global oil demand is forecast to rise from 85m barrels per day 2008 to 105m barrels per day in 2030.
iv. A whistleblower at the International Energy Agency has claimed “it has been deliberately underplaying a looming shortage for fear of triggering panic buying” and that a “senior official claims the US has played an influential role in encouraging the watchdog to underplay the rate of decline from existing oil fields while overplaying the chances of finding new reserves”.
(b) Calls on the government to immediately develop a national plan to respond to the challenge of peak oil and Australia’s dependence on imported foreign oil.
The Motion was defeated 31:6 with the five Greens Senators supporting the motion and presumably South Australian independent Senator Nick Xenophon as the sixth supporting vote.
The major parties are not just ignorant of ‘peak oil’. They are, with clarity of purpose, voting against any attempt to respond or even investigate further.